State will lose out over data centre plans, Amazon, Google and Microsoft warn

Seen and Heard: Debt warehousing deadline, Intel grants credits, budget tax hints, Clerys developer refinancing

Amazon, Google and Microsoft have warned that the State is likely to lose significant levels of investment due to a failure to address constraints on the Irish electricity grid, the Business Post reports.

The tech giants have significant concerns over Ireland’s ability to facilitate future data centre growth amid ongoing restrictions on connection requests from big business.

In a recent document seen by the newspaper, industry group Cloud Infrastructure Ireland, which represents the three companies, took issue with several aspects of a proposed new policy that will decide how they can connect data centres to the grid. The group said proposals put forward by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities to restrict data centres would “send a signal to the market that a portion of Ireland is closed for new investment and business growth”.

Debt warehousing

Companies in the Revenue’s debt warehousing scheme will be forced to settle their pandemic liabilities in full unless they clear other outstanding tax business before May 1st, reports the Sunday Times.


Updated Revenue guidelines for setting up phased payments to clear the debts by the deadline state that applications will be rejected if there are outstanding tax bills, unpaid penalties or interest, or returns not filed.

The rule means companies that have still to agree a long-term payment plan with Revenue have less than three weeks to get their tax affairs in order or face immediate payment plus backdated interest.

Intel grants and credits

Irish taxpayers funded most of the $645 million (€605 million) in grants and tax credits that tech giant Intel received outside the US last year, newly filed financial records show, reports the Sunday Independent.

It suggests Intel will benefit from at least $322.5 million in grants and refundable tax credits from Ireland. These are related to the significant expansion of its silicon wafer manufacturing facilities in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

The $17 billion worth of investment in the facility is one of the most substantial ever made in the State.

A spokeswoman for Intel told the newspaper initiatives such as research and development tax credits and grants created a “competitive advantage for companies undertaking leading-edge technology activities in Ireland”.

Budget indications

The entry point to the top rate of tax is set to rise to at least €44,000 in this government’s final budget, senior coalition figures have confirmed to the Business Post.

The newspaper reports that the next budget will contain “very significant” tax changes, including changes that will help lower- to middle-income earners, a focus on reducing the universal social charge, further energy credits and an increase in the old-age pension.

Senior sources from across the Coalition have suggested that it is the intention to increase the entry point to the higher 40 per cent tax rate from €42,000 to “at least €44,000“. The standard rate of income tax cut-off point for this tax band was increased in Budget 2024, bringing the entry point from €40,000 to €42,000.

Clerys developer refinancing

The developer of Clerys Quarter on O’Connell Street is seeking to refinance external debt on the landmark project by September, reports the Sunday Times.

Accounts for OCES Property Holdings say that “a process is ongoing to consider the best course of action in regard to the refinance”. A lender called Greenoak, which was due to be repaid last September, is owed €34.6 million.

The development on the site of the former department store will continue to be supported with equity from its owner, a fund managed by real-estate investment manager Europa.